Young, Gifted And Black: 17 Black Actors Making Waves At 17 And Younger
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Young, Gifted And Black: 17 Black Actors Making Waves At 17 And Younger

If films like A Wrinkle in Time have proven anything, it’s that young black talent is in abundance, both in and out of Hollywood. Anyone who says otherwise is lying. To help ease your troubles, we’ve curated a list of 17 of Hollywood’s best black actors age 17 and younger to watch.

Chosen Jacobs

Age: 17

This Massachusetts native has already turned heads for his nuanced performance as Mike Hanlon in the critically acclaimed film adaptation of Stephen King’s It. Look out for him to appear in the sequel, It: Chapter Two, in 2019. He’s also in the first season of Hulu’s Castle Rock. 


Caleb McLaughlin 

Age: 17

Best known for his role as Lucas Sinclair on the Netflix hit Stranger Things and his role as Ricky Bell in  this New York native can be seen in the show’s upcoming third season in 2019. He’s also portrayed Ricky Bell in The New Edition Story. 

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Storm Reid

Age: 15

Best known for her role as Meg Murry in Ava DuVernay’s sci-fi epic (and future generational classic) A Wrinkle in Time, Reid will next appear in the director’s Netflix drama, Central Park Five. She’ll also star with Zendaya in the Drake-produced HBO series, Euphoria. 

Myles Truitt

Age: 16

Starring first as Ronnie DeVoe on in The New Edition Story, he’s now turning heads for his role as Ant on the family drama Queen Sugar. Truitt will appear in the upcoming film Kin alongside Zoe Kravitz on August 31, as well as the second season of Black Lightning. 

Lonnie Chavis

Age: 10

As young Randall Pearson on the NBC drama This Is Us, Chavis will next appear in the indie film Sunny Daze.

Marsai Martin

Age: 13

Known for her role as Diane Johnson on Black-ish, Martin will appear in and produce her Universal Pictures comedy Little, alongside the likes of Issa Rae and Regina Hall.

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JD McCrary

Age: 11

Currently appearing on the OWN network comedy The Paynes, McCrary will appear in the highly anticipated film adaptation of The Lion King as Young Simba.

Miles Brown

Age: 13

As Jack Johnson, the bubbly son of Dre and Rainbow on the ABC hit sitcom Black-ish, Brown is slated to appear in the upcoming indie film Emmett, in which he will play a precocious 12-year-old boy who teams up with his quirky SAT tutor to solve a crime.

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Eris Baker

Age: 13

Known for her portrayal of Tess Pearson in the NBC drama This Is Us, look out for Baker to appear in the show’s upcoming third season, which premieres on September 25.

Alex Hibbert

Age: 14

Hibbert, a young actor worth watching after his stunning portrayal of Little Chiron in Best Picture winner Moonlight, will return for the upcoming second season of the Showtime drama The Chi.

Shahadi Wright Joseph

Age: 13

Making her first wave as Little Inez in Hairspray Live, Joseph will appear in Jordan Peele’s upcoming horror film Us and as the voice of Young Nala in the live action version of The Lion King in 2019.

Shamon Brown Jr.

Age: 13

As lovable sidekick Papa on Showtime’s The Chi, Brown will next appear in the show’s second season.

Saniyya Sidney

Age: 11

Best known for her role in the horror series American Horror Story: Roanoke and the films Fences and Hidden Figures, Sidney is set to star alongside Gugu-Mbatha Raw and Lorraine Toussaint in the indie sci-fi drama Fast Color. She also stars in the upcoming Fox series, The Passage. 

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Jahi Winston

Age: 14

Appearing alongside Taraji P. Henson in the crime drama Proud Mary, Winston has starred in the Netflix show Everything Sucks and portrayed Ralph Tresvant in The New Edition Story. 

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Jayden Rey

Age: 9

Appearing as Mary Conner in the now-canceled reboot of the ABC show Roseanne, Rey will reprise her role in the ABC spinoff The Connors.

Faithe Herman

Age: 10

Portraying Annie Pearson, the youngest daughter of Beth and Randall Pearson on the NBC drama This Is Us, Faithe Herman will next appear in the show’s upcoming third season, as well as appearing as Daria Dudley in the superhero flick Shazam!, alongside Zachary Levi.

Maceo Smedley

Age: 11

Appearing on the acclaimed WGN series Underground, Smedley can be now seen on the hit Marvel show Cloak & Dagger and family comedy All About The Washingtons.

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